A Book of Gems Choice selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 154

all its fullness and
completeness more successfully, with more faith and power than ever,
and may we be enabled to bring souls to Christ more abundantly than


The genuine power—the power that will enable us to stand against all
opposition and triumph at last—is not in this man or that, money or
learning, talent or popularity, but in the _true position_. Learning is
profitable, if used wisely, as a help in finding and determining the
true position; but the power is not in the learning nor talent. A man
of very ordinary learning and talent may find the true position, stand
on and defend it. No matter what a man’s learning, talent or popularity
may be, if he forsakes the truth, the right ground, if he undertakes
to advocate false theories, it will become perfect weakness, and will
be swept away like chaff. If men desire to stand, let them not think
of their own power, learning, popularity, or personal influence, and
talent, but of the _true ground_, “the right way of the Lord,” and
depend on truth and the God of truth; never deviate from the truth,
but be faithful to it, maintain their integrity to it, and the God of
all truth and righteousness will hold them up. They will realize that
the strength of the everlasting hills is underneath, and they cannot
be moved. If men who once knew the truth, begin to higgle, tamper and
trifle; if they, little by little, begin to show a want of integrity, a
lack of moral honesty; a disposition to compromise with sectarianism;
to ignore the distinctions between truth and error, the body of Christ
and sectarian bodies; the way of the Lord and other ways, and finally
begin to abandon leading principles and leading points of teaching,
they will find their power gone and will soon amount to nothing. Many
men have, in this way, literally thrown themselves away, and others are
now going the same road.

If men desire to stand, they should seek the true ground, try to
ascertain and determine what the truth is; find, with certainty, the
_true position_, and place themselves squarely in it; maintain and
defend it, not depending on _their own_ strength, learning, talent,
influence or popularity, but on the truth; the _true position_; the
_right way_. But some one is ready to inquire: “How can we find truth
in the midst of so much error; the right way in the midst of so many
ways?” This may be a little difficult to some. There is, however, one
thing indispensable to it, and that is

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 17
Page 23
I took the contrary side, perhaps a little for dispute's sake.
Page 35
I joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting-house of the Quakers near the market.
Page 46
Many pleasant walks we four had together on Sundays into the woods, near Schuylkill, where we read to one another, and conferr'd on what we read.
Page 49
I returned on board a little puzzled, but still not doubting.
Page 61
John----, a wild Irishman, brought up to no business, whose service, for four years, Keimer had purchased from the captain of a ship; he, too, was to be made a pressman.
Page 66
I grew convinc'd that _truth_, _sincerity_ and _integrity_ in dealings between man and man were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life; and I form'd written resolutions, which still remain in my journal book, to practice them ever while I lived.
Page 72
I was bred a farmer, and it was a folly in me to come to town, and put myself, at thirty years of age, an apprentice to learn a new trade.
Page 73
My friends there, who conceiv'd I had been of some service, thought fit to reward me by employing me in printing the money; a very profitable jobb and a great help to me.
Page 77
And now I set on foot my first project of a public nature, that for a subscription library.
Page 78
as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in defense of their privileges.
Page 80
If it remains a while uncertain to whom the merit belongs, someone more vain than yourself will be encouraged to claim it, and then even envy will be disposed to do you justice by plucking those assumed feathers, and restoring them to their right owner.
Page 96
The piece, being universally approved, was copied in all the newspapers of the Continent; reprinted in.
Page 118
It had been propos'd that we should encourage the scheme for building a battery by laying out the present stock, then about sixty pounds, in tickets of the lottery.
Page 128
William Tennent, and.
Page 135
The debates upon it in Congress went on daily, hand in hand with the Indian business.
Page 155
I have sometimes since thought that his little or no resentment against me, for the answers it was known I drew up to his messages, might be the effect of professional habit, and that, being bred a lawyer, he might consider us both as merely advocates for contending clients in a suit, he for the proprietaries and I for the Assembly.
Page 158
Page 164
I was at the entertainment given by the city of New York to Lord Loudoun, on his taking upon him the command.
Page 174
He's rarely _warm_ in Censure or in Praise: _Good-Nature, Wit_, and _Judgment_ round him wait; And thus he sits _inthron'd_ in _Classick-State_: To Failings mild, but zealous for Desert; The clearest Head, and the sincerest Heart.